15 Features Of VLC Player That You Probably Don’t Know About

VLC Player being the most celebrated open source media player is also ranked as the best among thousands of media players available out there.The latest version unleashed new horizons for controlling, managing, & customizing media files regardless of any format they belongs to. For novices, it comes across as only a “Media Player” but the fact is, it empowers users with a multitude of playback, recording, and streaming options. What makes it stand out is  minimalistic & simple IDE, smooth playback, capacitating users with multiple file format support and much more. From the day VideoLAN dev team gushed forth VLC Player for the general public, we have seen a mass switch from other eminent media players.

Let’s glance at the most overlooked features it offers.

Extravagant Video Effects

VLC  includes numerous aesthetic video effects, such as; Image adjustment, Transformation, Video cropping, Geometrical view & magnification, Video rotation, Color fun, and Image modification. You can access these video features through Extended Settings from the main VLC IDE. Switching to Video Effects tab will show up these features in numerous tabs.

Basic Image Adjustments

VLC provides basic image adjustment options. Under the Basic tab, you can play around with various color adjustments; Hue, Contrast, Brightness, Gamma, etc. On adjusting the color,  you can view changes in real time. Color adjustment options can also be very helpful especially when you are playing a video, having noise, glitches and lacks normal color pattern.

vlc-1

Video Sharpness effect

Apart from basic image adjustment options, there is another feature which will let you adjust video sharpness up to the acme of clarity. Under the Basic tab, enable Sharpen option and adjust the sigma control as required. It will show you the changes in real time so you can promptly adjust sharpness accordingly.

Scrutinize the wonderful sharp effect it produced in the video shown below.

sharpness

Transforming to different angles

The Transform option allows you to rotate video by multiple degrees. Enabling Transform option would activate the video rotation feature. It offers rotation in 90,180, and 270 degrees. This comes useful if you have a video that you recorded via the camcorder in a different angle.

rotate1

Video magnification/Zoom in & out

Another intriguing feature is Video Magnification. Under Geometry tab, enable Magnification/Zoom option, to let it zoom in/out the video. You will see a small window at top left corner with the main magnification control. Fill in the triangle by clicking it to zoom into the video. To view the desired video portion, move the square capturing screen across the box.

zoom vlc

Video Rotation

With an excellent rotation feature, you can rotate the video in any direction. Enable Rotation option, and start moving the rotary control.

rotatation 2

Add a bit fun with Puzzle Game

The moment you hit Puzzle game option, it would turn the video into puzzling pieces. Enter number of columns & rows in which you need to solve out video puzzle. It divides the video into specified chunks on the screen.

puzzle game

Under Color fun tab, you can play around with colors, there is absolutely no list of colors to select from. You can write color code to introduce it in the video. Apart from this, through Color Extraction option, you can enter a specific color code to extract it from the video.

color extarction

Panoramic view (Optimal for Muti-Screen)

Vout/Overlay is another superb feature, allowing video junkies to spread the video on the desktop wall in multiple windows. In this way, you can handle, manage and change the position of the video parts separated in windows. To make this effect look awesome, try it on a large HD TV or projector. On the left side enabling Add text option would add the text in each window.

vout overlay1


vout

Adding Logo

An overlaying logo option comes in handy, you can easily insert a logo (PNG/JPG format) in the video as a watermark. It also helps in overlaying existing logo with an image. To make use of this feature, under Logo tab, specify the full path of the image where it is residing, adjust transparency control and allocate the position. The importance of this feature is that you can add the company logo while giving a video presentation.

logo 1

Synchronization

Kudos to VLC for bringing up sync feature, those who haven’t used it yet, really missed out an important one. Under the Synchronization tab, you can manually manage the A/V (Audio/video) sync and deal with them by adjusting the time. Most of the converted videos lacks A/V sync primarily because of a change in FPS (Frames Per Second), this actually invokes the problem of either video or audio lagging behind. For adjusting the A/V sync problem, change the values in Advance of audio over the video input pane, positive value refers to as video is lagging behind and the converse is the case with negative values which refers to as audio lagging behind.

Right beneath A/V sync settings, you will find Subtitle settings, to make subtitle properly sync with video, i.e, appears on right time. Adjust the timing in a way as defined in aforementioned criteria for A/V sync, positive values refers to subtitles showing up ahead of the video. At the bottom, you can change the subtitles speed. It may happen sometimes, on downloading subtitles from different sources, or from different authors, the speed (FPS) is not aligned with the video FPS, i.e, video running on different FPS and conversely subtitles FPS differs. To cope up with this problem, speeding of the subtitles option helps amazingly.

sync

Record Webcam Video

Recording video from a webcam is another awesome feature VLC offers. It automatically populates the list of devices attached to your system. To record a video from the Webcam, under Media menu, click Capture Device. From Video device name, select the webcam device and click Play. It will turn on the webcam, from its main IDE, you can start recording the video instantly

capture device

web cam

Bookmarking media

Now this must be surprising to most users. Did you know that you can bookmark as well? VLC allow users to bookmark media files, whether you are playing it from local media, or streaming it from any remote location. You can instantly bookmark the media file and access it anytime later.

bookmark

Advance Open File

Bluray DVD discs & rips come with separate audio channels for giving the real effect of surrounded sound. Unlike others, VLC features Advance Open File option, which allows you to open a video file along with the separate audio file (if existed). You will find rip-less video synchronization with the external audio file ‘phenomenal’. Next time, you are planning on playing Bluray rip, take a whirl of this feature.

advance play

Take Snapshots (PNG,JPG format supported)

As VLC offers instantaneous pause and allows playback in frames, as you can see here. You might need to take a snapshot of either specific frame or an instant paused frame. Guess what? VLC lets you take screenshots as well. You can capture a frame either by pausing the video, or while playing video frame-by-frame. To take snapshot more promptly assign a hotkey to snapshot feature from VLC Preferences. Otherwise from Video menu, click Snapshot to capture a screenshot of a frame.

screenshots

Customize Interface

There are so many features & functions VLC offers which makes it distinctive from others, Among those features, one is interface customization feature. Under the View menu, you will find Customize Interface. It allows you to; change menus, buttons, add/delete buttons, change layout of main layout, and change playback controls positions as well.

inerface custom

Here you can see some customizations that I have performed on the main interface.

changed

Debug Logging

Want to know what went wrong with Video FPS, codecs you are using, why some feature is not compatible, or why you are encountering lagging and other relevant issues? VLC can tell you about any problem. With its intrinsic Debug logging feature, it can inform you about info like; lack of correspondence (in Network), video discrepancy, why feature is not supported or not compatible, which CODEC is missing, app crash, and erratic A/V halt due to unidentifiable reason. To view the log, from the View menu, under Add Interlace, click Debug logging.

dubugger 1

The journey doesn’t stop here, apart from the features we have covered above, they are still a lot more small ones. The developers are also adding new features and functionality with every new release. You might also be interested in our previously covered article on VLC’s 8 Useful Features.

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  • grappler Ulrich

    I cant seem to save bookmarks in VLC, after closing vlc the bookmarks seem to disappear.
    Am i the only 1?

    • cheeto81

      you are not the only one…has been a bug since version 0.8 and hasn’t been fixed for 2-5 years

      • Suhr Spamalot

        Incredible. Three years later and it’s still broken.

        • TomDibble

          If you do a google search you come across the VLC support forums post where one of the lead developers cusses out users for requesting this feature in the player without coding it themselves. I agree with the currently second-to-last post: it seems like it should be really easy to do, and I certainly have the skills to do it, but I can’t see myself devoting my time and energy to understanding a codebase to the point of contributing to it if the lead devs are so rude and condescending to their users.

          Instead, I’m looking for a media player which has implemented this feature and more (perhaps finishing the bookmarks would have been a better option than the “puzzle” feature?) I can’t see VLC thriving with that kind of anti-user attitude.

          • Michael

            Hi, can you post a direct link to the thread where the developer swears, I’d like to read it. Thanks :)

    • Volk

      You need to save playlist, it’s like saving session, so when you open xspf file you can load your bookmark. 

      • Siva

        @Volk
        Can u explain little more clear….

      • Tomas Sandven

        Nope, doesn’t work. None of the supported playlist formats also saves the bookmarks. Tested with VLC 2.1.2

  • Raven

    Movie name pls…

  • Aatif

    Excellent post Usman. Even I didn’t know more than half of these. Great, thanks!

  • http://bloggerdomain.net Neeraj Kumar

    Interesting share ! :)

  • Pingback: Top New Best Features In VLC 1.1.0

  • Terkel69

    how to get color on black and whith movies? can i do that wit color extraction? sorry for bad english. hop you understand :D

  • Ming

    Seems you can also view video in ASCII art… Not that clear, but so cool

    http://www.skipser.toolsbysk.com/p/96/p/general/cool-things-you-didnt-know-vlc-media-player-can-do.html

    • DON

      VLC can also screencast your desktop, i.e. record desktop activities.

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  • DON
  • Nick

    How do I get a video playlist to open already rotated 180 degrees?

  • Gffgf

    No zoom (video) in full screen mode. (Like KM Player)

  • shama

    good article,i found it to be useful

  • Richard

    I have researched this like crazy but can’t find a way to bookmark file on VLC on a Mac. All the info seems to be for PC users.
    Any suggestions?

  • Dhamothar

    awesome…..superb……Its Very useful to me…

  • kamyogi

    Where is the captured webcam video file placed in Ubuntu?

  • Uere Reebu Bainrebu

    Thanks a lot, I appreciate. Perhaps you could show us how to manually put song lyrics on VLC if it has a function like that.
    Thanks a lot and keep it up.

  • John Richardson

    very handy

  • Firekraag

    I wouldn’t play with a volume over 100%, you’re gonna clip the line-level audio signal. If 100% ain’t loud enough for you, get a better amp or headset instead ;)

  • Seph

    the problem is i can´t control vlc with mediakeys while ingame. Vlc is a good program but it need some ease of use.